Francis grew up in Northern Ireland, developing a love of punk music that would influence her later career. After completing her degree she taught religious studies, returning to postgraduate studies in Glasgow and then Stirling. Francis' 2011 doctoral thesis combines her multiple interests and passions - punk rock, religion, anarchy and DIY communities - in an examination of the abstainent 'Straight Edge' punk movement.
Secular faith: surrogate religion, religious mutation, or over-reaching?
How do we account for the rise of what some are calling ‘secular faiths’? Are they a mutation of religion? Are they a form of religious surrogacy? Or are we witnessing a move to more implicit forms of religion?
Using examples of secular notions of faith located within popular culture – straight edge punk, video games, taking the knee protests, and television shows such as Game of Thrones – we will reconsider the concept of religion by focusing, not on deities, institutions and dogma, but rather on rituals, meanings, commitments, identities and activism